Greetings, boys and girls. Your Friendly Neighborhood Xtian reporting here. Hopefully, none of you who are reading this blew off any of your limbs over the weekend or managed to maim yourselves in any other way. If you did happen to severely injure yourself and you are perusing this blog, thank you for your diligence, and do better next 4th of July!
Last week was an absolutely rush. I ended up landing a last-minute gig at JJ’s
in Bohemia , so there was A LOT of scrambling to lock everything down (filling out the bill, promoting to the best of my ability in under a week, etc.) Everything worked out though, which I was very happy about. Chattanooga
For some time now, I’ve wanted to find a DJ for my live line-up. While I enjoy being able to manipulate the sounds and everything myself, pulling double-duty takes me out of being present with the material to a certain degree. This show really motivated me to reach out to someone, and they actually said YES! Cole Sweeten aka Cutlass Cult agreed to kick things off and man the tables along with Zowie (my singer), Jessica (my viola player), and yours truly. I was really excited about seeing what he would bring to the fold and how it would gel with everything.
We linked up on Wednesday night to rehearse, and as soon as we got into the first song (which just so happened to be Walk off the EP), I knew he was the perfect fit. I was elated to say the least. We rocked out for a few hours, and I knew that the gig on Thursday was going to be big fun.
Some dear friends (The Scarlet Love Conspiracy) rounded out the bill with us, and I’ve not really had the chance to spend any significant time with them in ages. A number of people who have never seen the live band came as well, so I was really pleased to be able to hang out in good company, and introduce them to what’s been brewing in support of my record since November.
Cole jumped things off in style. He kicked out jam after jam, and I thoroughly enjoyed observing him and dancing in my chair. If you’re in or around
and haven’t seen him do his thing, DEFINITELY make it a point to do so. You can thank me later. Chattanooga
We took the stage as a band around , and from the first word out of my mouth, it was on. We put on a sweaty, energy-filled set, and I think it was a good showing. What I enjoy doing live, particularly with the band, is taking the audience on a bit of a journey. We have things that’ll make you move, and things that’ll, hopefully, move you. I feel very fortunate that on several occasions now, I’ve been able to look out into the crowd and see people crying or just fully immersed in the material we’re presenting. It’s both humbling and affirming, and is kind of a reward for pushing through and making this little record called Between Beauty & Bedlam.
After we jumped off the stage, The Scarlet Love Conspiracy took the stage, and it was great to watch them. I love seeing them because they are SO in love (literally. They’re married), and it’s incredibly evident. I think it definitely informs the music they make together, too.
On Friday night, I had the opportunity to perform at Barking Legs for Wide Open Floor, which I do maybe two or three times a year. I’d blown out my voice at JJ’s the night before, so all I had was a low range, which I like to call my sexy 1970’s radio DJ voice. Watch out, ladies!
There was a lot of poetry throughout the course of the night. It’s always interesting for me to see new poets and take in their work.
When I stepped to the microphone, I performed Night Watch first. It was interesting because it was the first time I’ve ever done it without music. I didn’t rehearse the piece much beforehand, so I had to adapt to the text right there on the stage. I think it went well.
I also performed Acceptance and my new poem for my mother. The latter feels like the gift that keeps giving. I think after every performance of it, someone comes up to me and tells me how much they enjoy and connect to it, which is beautiful.
This weekend, I had to chance to meet new people, introduce them to both myself and my work, and I LOVE that. I sold some merch, which is always a great thing, but (and I’ve said it time and time again on here) having the opportunity to TRULY connect with people is the bigger reward.
So, with all that said, I’ll be performing next at Charles & Myrtle’s THIS FRIDAY. The show starts at 8. I’ll be sharing the bill with storyteller Jim Pfitzer and singer-songwriter. Andrew Kelsay. It’s going to be a good time. This, I guarantee! If you’re making your weekend plans now, feel free to make it an option. I, for one, would love to see you!